Deadpool (2016)

deadpool

Superhero movie fatigue, my balls.

“Deadpool” is proof positive that the comic book movie is alive and well and prone to various iterations of the comic book movie mold beyond capes, tights, and bat ears. “Deadpool” is one of the most anti of anti-heroes ever conceived. He’s a man who works for any side that’s appealing to him, and you can never quite pin down whether he should be a friend or foe. Wilson like Marvel comrades The Punisher and Iron Man are never villainous, but also not the clean cut superheroes we’d expect. In the end, Wilson is about self gratification, even though he tells himself that his intentions are pure. He’s a man who loves being vile and obnoxious. Even Wade Wilson during the opening of “Deadpool” explicitly states that he is by no means a hero, and we’re given extensive insight in to how he lived his life before he became the “merc with the mouth.”

Director Tim Miller’s story of Wade Wilson and his quest for revenge could very well have lost sight of its premise and tone with its somewhat touching romance, except Miller’s adaptation of the comic book is consistently funny and wry. For “Deadpool” his story is about redemption, but Wade’s quest to save his girlfriend relies on him embracing his scumbag sensibility and going full on mutilation mode. His struggle is to maintain a sense of his humanity with girlfriend Vanessa who goes from prostitute to supportive girlfriend over the course of their turbulent romance. “Deadpool” captures everything about the comic book that’s managed to win over superhero weary fans for many years. Deep down “Deadpool” is a thug, and a crony, but he’s someone who knows very well what he is, and happens to have a heightened sense of agility and combat skills that make him more than your average heel.

Reynolds casting as Wilson is brilliant enough, but the insistence on a self-aware and meta-action film that breaks the fourth wall in every conceivable manner unfolds in such a raucous and hilarious method, even detractors of Deadpool will find the movie charming. What’s even more astonishing is that the X-Men are finally fun, with the inclusion of long time Deadpool allies Colossus, the metallic Russian warrior, and his protege Negasonic Teenage Warhead, the enigmatic and brooding teenage mutant who is also learning the finer details of being a superhero. Miller’s supporting cast is fantastic with Morena Baccarin and TJ Miller to Gina Carano, all of whom contribute to the sardonic tone of the film. You even have to give it to Brianna Hildebrand and Stefan Kapičić, both of whom are spectacular as Deadpool’s X-Men foils. With its loose sense of humor and over the top violence, “Deadpool” beats everyone to the punch, from fans and folks that dislike the character, right down to skeptics and critics alike, rendering it almost bullet proof.

There are hilarious jabs at the “X-Men” movies, Reynolds self deprecating humor, and knocks on the studio; writers Rheese and Wernick also include a myriad pop culture references including a pretty excellent sight gag from “Ferris Bueller.” You assume the notion that “Deadpool” knows what it is would defeat the purpose of investing time in to it, but it still ends as a remarkably fun and exciting action picture that inspires you to care for the amoral Wilson. Reynolds was born for the role of Wilson, and he has a good time unleashing hilarious one-liners and sharp barbs at every turn to his foes, remaining completely unflappable, even when being relentlessly tortured. In a studio that takes its Marvel properties much too seriously, “Deadpool” is a jolt of fresh air that can remind us that not every comic book movie has to have a formula, and can even color outside the lines every now and then so long as it respects its audience and source material.